Basic Quarterback Training

Preparing to throw

Tell your quarterback to separate the ball from his left hand. The lower end of the football points backwards as you separate. This allows him to bring his elbow up over the top of his shoulder pad. Just tell him to get rid of his left hand naturally and to work above his shoulders. Make sure that he doesn't lower the football too much below his breast area. As he comes back to the throwing motion, he rotates his shoulders at the same time. The palm of the hand, the front toe of the lead foot, shoulders and hips will all face the target as he releases the football. Work for a smooth rhythm and snap your wrist as you throw and release the ball over the shoulders.

Note: Demand that your quarterback throws with a purpose. Make sure that he uses a target above the receiver's shoulders. Make it a challenge to see how many times the receiver catches the ball above his shoulders. Playing catch properly is important in developing accuracy when throwing a football.

The release

Releasing the football quickly requires intensity. We tell our quarterbacks to "short stroke" the football and roll their shoulders quickly. Remember that the tip of the index finger is the last thing that touches the football. Turn your hand and thumb down and out a little as you release the ball. Follow through by driving your chin past the front foot. There should be air below the back heel of your back leg as you follow through.

One thing that helps our quarterback with this follow through is to use the "imaginary line" principal, particularly to help develop accuracy. An "imaginary line" is one that extends from you to the target. The left foot should land on the left side of this line and the right foot on the right. The body will be squared up properly if this is done. Drop your throwing hand naturally as you release the ball - usually this hand will end up somewhere around the inside of the lead leg as you complete the throwing action.

Todd Krueger is a former NFL QB for the Buffalo Bills who runs a youth football/quarterback coaching website called He can be emailed at

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